Not knowing that she was being investigated, Gu Ye was being “interrogated” by her brother on the reason she climbed up the cliff while picking up pine cones. Finally she gave in, pulled out the purple ganoderma plant, and whispered softly, “Shhhhh, don’t let Mrs. Gu saw it, or there will be nothing left for us!”
Gu Ming looked around them and urged Gu Ye to put away the purple ganoderma plant quickly, “Keep it somewhere safe and sell it to Shopkeeper Qian secretly next time he comes to collect herbs. You have not recovered 100% yet, we will trade them for some flour and rice and store them in a secretive cave and they will last you for a little while!”
“Pheasant?!” Gu Ming looked ecstatic. He held his breath and concentrated while he walked quietly toward the bush. Closer.. and closer… five more steps, four… three. Right when he dived toward it, the pheasant fluttered its wings and flew away while shrieking a few times!
Gu Ye shot out a pinecone with bullet-like speed which landed precisely on the pheasant’s wing right when it was taking off. The pheasant fell squarely onto the ground immediately. Gu Ming got there just in time and pinned the pheasant onto the ground.
“You got it! You got it!! Ge ge is so great!” Seeing the young boy’s happy face and how his eyes sparkled with pride, of course Gu Ye would give him some praises.
The other kids, spreading out all over the place, were all drawn over by the ruckus. They all looked envious when they saw the struggling pheasant in Gu Ming’s hands. The village chief’s oldest grandson, thirteen-year-old Li Hao was thoroughly amazed, “Gu Ming, that was incredible that you got a pheasant with your bare hands! That’s better than even Hunter Zhang’s son could do!”
“You are too nice! This pheasant just happened to be clumsy and couldn’t even fly straight. It fell on its own and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time!” Gu Ming might be humble in his words, but his big smile betrayed how he truly felt.
“Look! There’s blood on the pheasant’s wing! It was already injured, that’s why Gu Ming was able to get it so easily!” said Li Xiuniang, the 11-year-old cousin of Li Hao, who noticed that small wound on the pheasant.
“I was the one who injured the pheasant! Give it back to me!” came a husky voice that sounded like it was coming from a cock with its neck squeezed before Gu Ming could comment.
All the kids looked up and they all frowned immediately. Coming at them was Mrs. Wu, a frugal and greedy lady who always like to take advantage of others. She had offended just about every person in the village and nobody wanted to have anything to do with her.
Yinggu, the most senior among them, stood up and questioned her, “You said this was your pheasant but can you prove that? Did anyone see how you did it?”
“I don’t need to prove it. If I said I did it, of course I did it. I am an adult, why would I lie to a bunch of kids?” Mrs. Wu pouted as she shuffled her boney legs toward Gu Ming and was about to rip the pheasant out of his hands.
“Oh, but you do lie to us all the time!” Li Hao was the grandson of the village chief. He had no fear of this outsider woman. If it wasn’t for her husband, Old Fifth Wu, who happened to have a little knowledge in medicines, her shady personality would have gotten her booted out of Qingshan Village a long time ago.
Mrs. Wu rolled her beady little eyes and asked, “Oh yeah? If it wasn’t me, then where did the pheasant got the injury from? If the pheasant wasn’t injured, how would you be able to catch it with your clumsiness? This is an animal in the wild, our rule is it belong to whoever that catches it. I was the one who injured the pheasant, so naturally it’d belong to me!”
“Wait a minute! You said you were the one who injured this pheasant? What did you use to injure it?” asked Gu Ye out of the blue.
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